God’s Messenger, Prophet Muhammad, like all the other Prophets, may God’s peace be upon them all, never thought of any wages in return for his mission. He suffered hunger, thirst and every other kind of hardship. He was forced to leave his native town, and was made the target of many assaults and traps. He bore all these simply for the good pleasure of God and the good of mankind. He never expected anything from people.
Abu Hurayra once saw him performing his prayer in a sitting position and asked him whether he was ill. The reply was of the kind that made Abu Hurayra weep:
I am hungry, O Abu Hurayra. Hunger has left me no strength to stand up for prayer.30
Hunger was common to them. One night, God’s Messenger, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar met each other unexpectedly outside their homes. ‘What brought you to come out at this time of night?’, they asked one another. The reply of each was the same: ‘hunger’.31
Even though most of his Companions became wealthier in later years, the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, never changed his lifestyle, nor did his family. They continued to live a very simple life. His daughter, Fatima, for example, though his most beloved child and the only one surviving, did all of her housework by herself. When the prisoners captured in a battle were shared out in Madina, Fatima asked his father to assign her a maid, but God’s Messenger said in response:
O my daughter! Before I have satisfied all the needs of the people of the Suffa, I cannot allocate you anything. However, shall I teach you something better for you than having a servant? When you go to bed, say, ‘Glory be to God, All praise be to God’, and ‘God is the Greatest’, each thirty-three times. (God is the Greatest thirty-four times, according to a different version.) This will be better for you concerning your next life.32
One day, he saw Fatima wearing a bracelet (or a necklace, according to another version) and warned her, saying:
O my daughter! Do you desire that people should say of the daughter of God’s Messenger that she is wearing a ring of Hellfire? Take it off immediately!33
In addition to receiving no worldly benefit from his people, God’s Messenger also had to bear many tortures. He was covered in dust many times and no one except Fatima ran to his aid. Once he was beaten at the Ka’ba and Abu Bakr hastened to help him, shouting to those beating him:
Will you kill a man because he says, ‘My Lord is God?’34
By examining his words and deeds, one can see that every one of them declares Muhammad is the Messenger of God, upon him be peace and blessings.
30. Abu Nu‘aym, Hilya, 7.107; Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal, 1.199.
31. Muslim, Ashriba, 140.
32. Bukhari, Fada’il al-Sahaba, 9.
33. Nasa’i, Zinat, 39.
34. Bukhari, Fada’il al-Sahaba, 5; I. Hanbal, 2.205.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.